Tauck, the 92-year-old leader in upscale guided travel, sets sail along the Rhine and Danube to Europe’s famed Christmas Markets with two different eight-day river cruises in 2017. From Nürnberg and Vienna, to Strasbourg and Aachen, and several more markets in between, each Tauck River Cruising Christmas Market itinerary delivers hundreds of years of holiday tradition, insider access, and local insights and shopping tips from experienced expert guides.
“Christmas Markets Along the Rhine,” (from $2,690 per person plus airfare) visits markets in Germany and France as it travels south from Cologne to Basel aboard Tauck’s ms Grace on November 26 and December 10, and aboard the ms Inspire on December 3. Northbound departures following a reverse itinerary begin in Basel on November 26 and December 10 aboard the ms Inspire, and aboard the ms Grace on December 3. Holiday-time highlights include visits to Old Town Heidelberg and historic Heidelberg Castle along with a German lunch in town, a cookie-making demonstration in Rudesheim, and a presentation on storytelling traditions in Strasbourg.
“Christmas Markets Along the Danube” (from $2,690 per person plus air) sails eastward from Nürnberg to Vienna aboard the ms Savor on December 10. A reverse (westbound) itinerary begins in Vienna on December 3 aboard the ms Savor, and on December 10 aboard the ms Joy. Memorable moments along the Danube include a Christmas lunch and children’s choir performance inside a private Viennese palace, a guided visit to Austria’s Baroque Melk Abbey, and a private tour of Thurn und Taxis Palace.
In addition to visiting and shopping at some of Europe’s most sought-after Christmas Markets (click here for a list of the top 12 holiday treasures to be found at these markets), Tauck’s two Christmas Market river cruises are highlighted by special holiday touches on board. These include festive seasonal décor and music, caroling, gingerbread house decorating, seasonal treats such as glühwein, the traditional mulled wine of the region, and more.
Tauck also hosts a tree-trimming party aboard each riverboat where guests are given euros for a scavenger hunt in various markets to find ornaments to decorate the trees onboard. Tauck’s Christmas Market cruises, like their other river cruises, are virtually all-inclusive, with all gratuities, meals, shore excursions, unlimited onboard beer, wine and premium spirits, airport transfers and more included in the cruise price.
And for travelers seeking new or unique destinations to make holiday memories this year, Tauck offers a variety of land programs in warmer, “off-the-holiday-beaten path” locations throughout December. From a visit to a Cuban cigar factory outside of Havana to meditating with Tibetan Buddhist monks, the following itineraries offers guests bucket list travel experiences to celebrate the holiday season.
Tauck’s 7-day, Havana-based “Cuba: Connecting with People and Culture” itinerary (from $5890 per person plus air) immerses travelers in the rich Cuban culture from arts and history, to architecture and agriculture. Highlights include an authentic ropa vieja cooking class, a visit to Havana’s bustling San Jose crafts market, a trip to Ernest Hemingway’s winter home from 1939 to 1960, and much more. Departures available on December 7, 14, 21, and 27, 2017.
The “South Africa: An Elegant Adventure” brings adventure seekers to two of the most sought-after private game reserves to view leopards, lions, elephants, and zebras; plus Victoria Falls, Cape Town and the Cape Winelands. The 12-day Tauck Earth Journey, offered in partnership with BBC Earth, features on-tour film vignettes custom-made by BBC Earth natural history experts, and the use of field equipment such as night vision goggles and FLIR® thermal imaging cameras that reveal the secret nocturnal life of South Africa’s wildlife. Available departures on December 1 and 15, 2017 start at $8,690 per person including on-tour air (international round-trip are not included).
Also a Tauck Earth Journey offered in partnership with BBC Earth, the 17-day “Northern India & Nepal” offers a wide array of adventures from Mumbai to the Himalayas, from the ultramodern architecture of New Delhi to the forests of Bandhavgarh National Park in India and Chitwan National Park in Nepal and beyond. Departing on December 10, 2017, highlights include a sightseeing flight over Mt. Everest, game-viewing safaris in search of the elusive tiger, and a visit to the Taj Mahal and the eye-opening Hindu temples of Khajuraho. Guests will also have the opportunity to give back during the holiday season by volunteering on tour with hands-on community projects in local villages. Price start at $10,990 per person including on-tour air (international round-trip are not included).
Those interested in more information can contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825, or visit the company’s website at www.tauck.com.